Archive for February, 2013

This year, we did the Corona and Bowtie hike on Sunday morning.  The light was not spectacular for photography.   The path was icy/snowed only on the back side of the hill past the railroad crossing.  I practiced walking on the slickrock all the way to the moqui steps, and this year at Corona and Bowtie I crossed the steep slick between the steps and the pipe ladder.  Last year, the vertigo was too much and I had to stop after the moqui steps.

Corona Arch, Moab, Utah

Corona Arch, Moab, Utah


Corona is a very typical arch.  I mean, if you were to “draw an arch” from the Arches area, although there are arches of all sorts, this is the shape and type of arch you would draw.  For one thing, it sticks out nicely from the rock face and one can easily see daylight through it from almost all angles.  For scale, those dark bits under the arch are bushes that are taller than people.  There are people under the arch, but they are kinda tiny.

Bowtie Arch, Moab, Utah

Bowtie Arch, Moab, Utah

Bowtie is a pothole arch, where the cavern of the arch has been pierced by a pothole.  It is harder to photograph on an overcast day, and it is probably not a morning arch.  Noon might suit it better.

These arches are not within the Arches National Park (which I guess an Easterner like me is agast at).  Therefore, pets are allowed on the trails.  Many human parties (including ours) were accompanied by dogs.  (Yeah, cats have so much more sense.)  It was interesting to watch the dogs as well as the humans navigate the steep slip rock, the moqui steps, and the ladder.  Those who have been walking on this kind of ground since childhood and youth are easy to spot.  Our Max is new to the land and its hazards, so stepped on a patch of dried up cactus and had to have his paws cleaned up.  (He is OK. Of course we felt terrible.)

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In the afternoon the kids and dog left for Denver, and the 5 of us and Bill and Margaret went into the valley below the Island in the Sky onto Shaefer and Potash roads.  It is impossible to take bad photos in the canyon, unless the jeep bounces too hard when you are pushing the shutter.  We went to Thelma and Louise Point and then my sister and I jeeped on further while the others shimmied down into a wash for a hike toward some petrified wood.

Island in the Sky, from the canyon

Island in the Sky, from the canyon

Tomorrow I fly out from Denver to Maryland, just ahead of a much-longed-for snowstorm.  Monday was a shopping day, and the drive back on I-70, beating the traffic jams by perhaps and hour.  Today went to telecommuting and medical appointments for several family members, with me as the driver.  While waiting in a surgical center I rehearsed Gerry Muller’s Seven Last Words arrangements and started study files for some other Triduum liturgies.  I am going home with nearly 500 photos to edit, and a card of videos, too.




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This is the first day of our Moab 2013 trip.  A large group hiked Fiery Furnace.  Those of us with knee and back problems chose to work on photography and take smaller, flatter hikes.
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On the Fiery Furnace hike, you walk down into fin formations on slickrock and shimmy between fins and jump over cracks.  Only one of our party was injured this time.  She slipped on ice and into a crevice.  Above is a view of the trailhead area of Fiery Furnace in the morning.  The light changes continuously, so the rock formations constantly change appearance.

Yvonne and I drove from Fiery Furnace toward Devil’s Garden, and passed this delicate fin formation on the way.  The Arches Park changes constantly as rocks fall and arches collapse or are sculpted.  While there is a real culture of preservation, the one stricking aspect of this park is the continual processes of nature that build the pinacles and arches and eventually destory them.

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These fins even look fragile and transient, although I am sure people climb into them.

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One of the arches we took a short hike to is the Double Arch in the Windows section.  Above is a long shot of the arch formation where you can just make out the double arch.

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Walking closer, you can see the two arches more clearly.  It is very difficult to avoid getting people in your shot in the winter, and next to impossible in the summer.

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Here is a view from within the arch.  My sister says you with think I photoshopped the sky, but it is really blue.  It is better with a few clouds for contrast, but today we only had a daymoon and some con-trails.

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Max, our grand-dog was our companion on our trips, waiting for us in the car, because dogs are not allowed on paths.

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I started the hike into Devil’s Garden while Yvonne and Max played in the parking lot, but the path was packed slick snow, so I didn’t go far.  Nevertheless, there were many (unphotoshopped) sights to photograph.

It is really different to be in this wilderness, where nature rather than people generates the stress, as well as the peace.  It is quite, with only a little people noise in the winter.  There were ravens whirling in the air currents and disputing territory.  Ah times it was so quite you could hear their wind slice the winds.

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I hope you find some peace in your life today.



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Blooming Amaryllis

Before I left for Colorado, both amaryllis bulbs bloomed.  The Red Lion bloomed first, and is a beautiful, deep, dark color.

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The Minerva bulb was huge and lept up so quickly, it boomed perhaps 10 days after the Red Lion. Minerva didn’t grow leaves first, but put up to really large buds on 20 inch stalks.  I think I should have downloaded more photos of Red Lion, since it is quite pretty.

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Luckily, it bloomed extravagantly just a few days before I left for Colorado.

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This photo shows the flower in the best color.  They are white-rimmed with dark red patches.

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Both buds bloomed silmultaneously, forming a giant bouquet.  These blooms are not as trumpet-shaped like the Red Lion, and have the appearance of orchids.

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May you have flowers to cheer your days, too.



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